Wednesday, January 30, 2008

February Madness: My Picks

Well, here we are, down to the Final Four. In one half of the bracket, the No. 1 seed, out of the East Region, Hillary Clinton takes on the No. 2 seed, out of the Midwest Region, Barack Obama. In the other half of the bracket, its No. 2 seeded Mitt Romney up against the Cinderella campaign of John McCain.

People often ask for my prediction of how this will shake out. Well, my take is that if Barack Obama wins the nomination he'll win the general election, and if Clinton wins she'll beat Romney. If it's Clinton against McCain, I think McCain wins a close call. But all this comes with the caveat that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

After McCain's triumph last night, he looks well on his way toward the nomination. On the Democratic side, it's still a complete toss up. Just because I endorsed the two, I'll pick an Obama/ McCain showdown.

Picture of the Day 1/30: the Long Goodbye


Rudy Giuliani blows a kiss to supporters before his concession speech last night in Florida, and with it kisses goodbye his presidential aspirations. Giuliani and John Edwards both dropped out today, leaving the presidential nominating contests to four contenders.

Edwards reportedly called both of his rivals to inform them of his decision and ask that they pledge to keep the poverty issue at the forefront of their campaigns. He has yet to endorse a candidate.

Rudy, meanwhile, has backed his friend and now-frontrunner Senator John McCain. Entire poli sci courses will be taught in college someday on the 2008 presidential primaries, and there will be a section called "How to sabotage your own chance" about Giuliani.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

(Finally) Good Day to be a Mets Fan

Two- time American League Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana, is on the verge of signing with the good guys- the NY Mets.


It's enough to make a previously resigned fan (me) giddy with anticipation for the 2008 season. Summer evenings, tailgates under the Van Wyck, and "Meet the Mets" blaring from the speakers for a final season at Shea (see below).

Monday, January 28, 2008

The $30m Delegate

From the Economist: A look at what 2008 presidential candidates got for their money...

MONEY obviously matters in American politics, but some who wish to be president clearly get a better return on their investments than others. The big Democratic spenders (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) have already shelled out more than $40m dollars each for their campaigns; the Republican Mitt Romney has spent over $50m. At least they have some delegates to show for it. Rudy Giuliani, so far, has spent over $30m and has just a single delegate (this should change in the Florida primary on Tuesday January 29th). The most efficient is Mike Huckabee, who claims 40 delegates for an outlay of $1.6m, a rate of about $42,000 per delegate compared with, for example, Mr Romney's $908,000. A Democrat needs 2,025 delegates to seal the nomination, a Republican needs only 1,191.

One more time: Rudy Giuliani spent $30m so far and has a single delegate pledged. He is currently running third in Florida. Someone in that campaign will have a hard time finding work when he drops out (a.k.a. next week).

**Update** This article was posted today, its chart has incorrect delegate totals. I'm not sure what I'm missing, maybe someone can figure it out and let me know. Anyway, here are the pledged delegate totals according to CNN:

Democrats (2025 needed)
Clinton- 230
Obama- 152
Edwards- 61

Republicans (1191 needed)
Romney- 73
McCain- 38
Huckabee- 29
Paul- 6
Giuliani 2

The Legacy of the George W. Bush presidency

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rahm Emanuel, debuted the following chart last week in anticipation of the President Bush's final State of the Union address tonight. It's pretty startling stuff...

THE LEGACY OF GEORGE W. BUSH’S PRESIDENCY

The Country He Inherited, The Country He Leaves Behind

THE ECONOMY

JANUARY 20, 2001

TODAY UNDER BUSH

REAL GDP GROWTH1

4.09% Over Prior 8 Years

2.65% Over Prior 7 Years

NATIONAL DEBT2

$5.7 Trillion

$9.2 Trillion

BUDGET DEFICIT/SURPLUS3

$431 Billion Surplus over the Previous Three Budget Years

$734 Billion Deficit over the

Previous Three Budget Years

NEW PRIVATE SECTOR

JOBS CREATED4

1.76 Million Jobs Per Year

Over Previous 8 Years

369,000 Jobs Per Year

Over Previous 7 Years

AMERICANS IN POVERTY 5

31.6 Million

36.5 Million

QUALITY OF LIFE

JANUARY 20, 2001

TODAY UNDER BUSH

AMERICANS UNINSURED &

CHANGE IN UNINSURED LEVEL6

38 Million Uninsured

4.5 Million Less in 2 Years

47 Million Uninsured

8.5 Million More in 6 Years

ANNUAL TOTAL PREMIUM COST7

$6,230 for Family Premium

$12,106 for Family Premium

MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME &

CHANGE IN MEDIAN INCOME8

$49,163

$6,000 Increase in 8 Years

$48,023

$1,100 Decrease in 6 Years

PRICE OF GAS9

$1.39/Gallon

$3.07/Gallon

COST OF COLLEGE10

$3,164 per year

$5,192 per year

PERSONAL SAVINGS RATE11

+2.3%

-0.5%

CONSUMER CREDIT DEBT12

$7.65 Trillion

$12.8 Trillion

UNITED STATES & THE WORLD

JANUARY 20, 2001

TODAY UNDER BUSH

U.S. TRADE DEFICIT13

$380 Billion

$759 Billion

STRENGTH OF U.S. DOLLAR14

1.07 Euros per Dollar

0.68 Euros Per Dollar

COMBAT READINESS15

All Active Duty Army Divisions Were Rated At The Highest Readiness Levels

Not A Single Active Duty Or Reserve Brigade In The U.S. Considered “Fully Combat Ready.”

FOREIGN OIL DEPENDENCY16

52.75% of U.S. Liquid Fuel Consumption is Imported

60.38% of U.S. Liquid Fuel Consumption is Imported

VIEW OF AMERICA ABROAD17

PEW POLL OF TEN NATIONS

58.3% Viewed

America Favorably

39.2% Viewed

America Favorably

GREAT BRITAIN’S VIEW OF U.S.

83% Favorable

56% Favorable

INDONESIA’S VIEW OF U.S.

75% Favorable

30% Favorable

TURKEY’S VIEW OF U.S.

52% Favorable

12% Favorable

GERMANY’S VIEW OF U.S.

78% Favorable

37% Favorable

Letterman: Top 10 Rejected Titles for the George W. Bush Movie

I've been doing a lot of Letterman stuff recently, but I have to post this because they did a Top 10 list that mirrored my post from last week.

Here's the list...

10. "Jackass 3"

9. "The Lyin' King"

8. "The Departed As Of January 20th, 2009"

7. "Stop Or My Vice President Will Shoot"

6. "Dial M For Moron"

5. "Das Boob"

4. "When Sally Met Cheney's Daughter"

3. "White Men Can't Govern"

2. "The Nightmare Before Hillary"

1. "Raging Bull****"

It's good stuff, we had one identical entry... here's my link.

Letterman: Top 10 Barack Obama Campaign Promises

Thursday, January 24, 2008

McCain draws "First Blood"

Like John Rambo creeping up behind an unsuspecting Viet Kong soldier, Sylvester Stallone shocked the political world and endorsed John McCain for president.

Well, it was shocking in that he was a guest on Fox News giving his thoughts on the campaign in the first place... and awesome in the logic behind his decision:

"I like McCain a lot. A lot. And you know, things may change along the way, but there's something about matching the character with the script. And right now, the script that's being written and reality is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged like a rough action film, and you need somebody who's been in that to deal with it."
I love it.

Senator McCain's response: "I'm going to Philadelphia and running up the steps."

Letterman: Top 10 Reasons Why I, Homer Simpson, Should Be the Next President

From May 17, 2007

10. I'm smarter than the last guy

9. With an oval office, I can't bump into anything

8. Fox News is already on my side

7. I will take full advantage of the free food that comes with the job

6. I have enormous experience apologizing for failed decisions

5. I will appoint a Secretary of Donuts

4. I will be the Secretary of Donuts

3. My middle name isn't Hussein... anymore

2. My vice president will be Mayor McCheese

1. Kick-ass inauguration party! Bring a six pack and you're in

Letterman: Top 10 George W. Bush Ideas for Stimulating the Economy

From January 23, 2008


10. Send troops to invade U.S. Mint

9. Oprah gives everybody a new car

8. Turn Grand Canyon into a giant national "Have a penny, leave a penny" jar

7. Cheney threatens to shoot treasury secretary in the face

6. Plans to fix economy in third term

5. Replace Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke with briefcase babes from "Deal or No Deal"

4. Send elite team of economists to rob Mick Jagger's apartment*

3. Ahhh -- somebody help...Cloverfield monster...Run for your lives!

2. Maybe not spending a billion dollars a month in Iraq?**

1. Forget the economy -- why doesn't someone try stimulating Condoleezza?

*- This was the plot to a failed (but acclaimed) sitcom Letterman produced called Knights of Prosperity

**- The war in Iraq costs $9bn/ month

Quote of the Day 1/24

"In case your dumb ass doesn't understand smoke signals or pop culture [references], [X] is no longer available to you - so stop the booty calls, bitch!"

~- A certain blogger's boo, on the phone to another chick that kept making late night calls to him/her...for whatever reason.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unfortunately, "There Will Be Blood" is Already Taken

As posted earlier, Oliver Stone is planning a movie about George W. Bush, tentatively entitled Bush. Catchy, but here are some SAM Online suggestions:

The Good the Bad and the Dummy

When Harry met Condi

Oval Office Space

Lie Another Day

My Fair Cheney

Jerry W. Maguire

Raging Bullsh*t

Superbad

MI 4: Mission Accomplished

The Un-credibles

Titanic... failure

Picture of the Day 1/21

Last night, my Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers to reach Superbowl XLII, in the face of all the "experts" who picked a Packers victory.

Super Tuesday, Meet Barack Obama

The New York Times reports, Barack Obama's campaign bought one minute ad spots on CNN and MSNBC to introduce their candidate to national audiences that "might not know much about his background." It's kind of a mini-docu- ography.

Quote of the Day 1/21

"I'm afraid that I might have to send my 95-year-old mother over and wash Chuck's mouth out with soap."

- John McCain, on Huckabee campaign stalwart Chuck Norris' comments that McCain might be "too old" for the presidency.

Bush to get "Stoned"

As noted on the Drudge Report, Oliver Stone is planning a movie on the life of the current President Bush. Although he's known for his left minded politics, Stone's Nixon (one of my favorite movies) was quite sympathetic.

Stone notes:

"... I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors."
And who will don the cowboy boots and power ties? Josh Brolin is reportedly attached.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

1/20/09

One year from today, the 44th president of the United States will be inaugurated in Washington, DC, and the George W. Bush administration will be history.



Who will be sworn in, obviously, remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meanwhile, Down Under

While we're worrying about war, elections and the NFC Championship game, some kid from Australia threw the best party ever, and he's not apologizing for it. Well he kind of is apologizing... but he's not taking off his glasses.

Video: Clinton on NV Disenfranchisement

There's controversy over a pending law suit on voting rights in Nevada. The Drudge Report linked to this video from a California ABC affiliate station, and it's pretty interesting.



**UPDATE** District court Judge James Mahan (not to be confused with Connecticut oil dealer James Meehan) dismissed the challenge, and the special caucus sites will go on as originally scheduled.

Same Old South Carolina Story for McCain


Upon resuming his 2008 campaigning in South Carolina, John McCain quickly came to a distressing realization: the smear tactics that damaged his chances of winning South Carolina in 2000 and ultimately led to his demise in the primaries has resumed itself eight years later. There are a smattering of untruthful stories spreading like wildfires around the state this week, including that McCain had sold out a POW in Vietnam to save himself and that McCain has voted to use unborn babies in medical research. Mike Huckabee has denied connection to the interest group that made up the latter of the two and spread it via a million automated telephone calls to households. McCain is employing a truth squad to combat by intercepting the attacks before there is much damage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/us/politics/17carolina.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Republicans Spar over Race

Issues of race have dogged the presidential primaries for the past couple of weeks. The Clintons traded barbs with the Obama camp on the civil rights movement, and who represents real change.

Recently, Republicans have gotten into the act with Mitt Romney using veiled attacks at competitors for not being "white enough."

At a recent campaign stop in Charleston, SC, Romney went on the offensive and aggressively sought the white vote.

"Republicans have a lot to choose from in this election, we have a chance to make a statement about our party, and move this country forward.

Everyone wants change! We all know that, but what kind of change do we want? Everyone wants a white man to be president, but what kind of white man do we want?

Do we want an old white man? Been there. Do we want a freaky religious white man? Done that. Do we want an old white man, with a possibly racist past that wants to abolish the federal government? Done it again.

I submit that America try something new- a really, really rich white man. I think that, as a people, we are ready for this."

Campaign spokesman Mark DeMoss later elaborated on Romney's questionable comments:

"It's true that we have had rich white men serve this great nation as president. We have one now. However, the Governor best represents the kind of change the Republican party yearns for. Remember, not only is he rich, and white, and male, but he also has great hair. We've never had such a head of hair in the White House, and America is eager to see that kind of change. And it's clear that 2008 really is the year of change for the Republican party!"

Follow-up calls to Romney's office and stylist were not returned for comment.

Young Voters, Blacks Turnout for No One

In last night's Democratic primary, voters 18-29 and African Americans both voted "uncommitted" (for no one, essentially) in greater numbers than they picked Hillary Clinton, who won the primary.

"No One really speaks to me," Jen Garnet, a 23 year employee at GM, went on, "Let's be honest, when it comes to young voters- No One cares."

Her sentiments were echoed in the African- American community as well.

Lamar Anderson, a professor of Black studies at Wayne State said: "As much as I loved the Clinton years, I would rather see No One in the Oval Office than Hillary. If we had No One leading the country, we could get it back on track.

"The bottom line is, when you look at American politics today, No One pays attention to the plight of African Americans."

When asked to comment about his strong second place finish, No One was confident:

"We just took our message of change out there to the voters and they responded. I mean, hypothetically, is there any doubt I could beat President Bush tomorrow? And if you want know the kind of job I'll do for the next four years just ask yourself: Couldn't I have done a better job over the last eight?"

Michigan Recap

Mitt Romney came away with a huge win in the Michigan primary last night, winning on the strength of high Republican turn-out and his "favorite- son" status. John McCain finished in second eight points back, he'll have to win South Carolina or Florida to get his mojo back.

This couldn't have turned out better for Rudy Giuilani, because the race continues to be up for grabs heading into Florida (even though he got only 3% in Michigan, 1/2 that of Ron Paul's support). He's in a dead heat with McCain in Florida, where he's spent so much time and money, but now that McCain isn't the front runner, look for Rudy to gain in polls.

So the nomination is totally unclear, and remember the undeniable trend we've seen in presidential politics where the incumbent is not running: the party that decides its nominee first nearly always wins in November.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Tears of Unfathomable Sadness (Picture of the Day 1/15)

Terrell Owens broke down after his Cowboys lost to my Giants in the playoffs on Sunday, crying in defense of his QB Tony Romo.



That led the Mick to combine the scene with my favorite episode of South Park, where Cartman tricks a kid into eating his own parents, and laps up his tears.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Your Medium is Dying!

Don't look now but The Simpsons did something relevant.



Bloggers are the future...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Richardson Suspends Campaign, Tree Falls in Forrest

Bill Richardson announced today that he has "suspended" his presidential campaign. Kind of like how you suspend cleaning an apartment building's hallway before it gets bulldozed.

When asked why he was stepping out now, Richardson cited five key reasons:

1- Can't deal with new "rock star" status

2- Wants to spend more time with his family... 's chef

3- Candidacy just an elaborate ploy to score a free month tour of wintry New Hampshire

4- Campaign suspended as long as the Cheesey Gordida Crunch is back at Taco Bell

5- Yeah, like a Latino could do well in Nevada...

Political Dictionary: Bradley Effect

Bradley Effect- (n.) When an African- American political candidate receives far less support than polls had indicated, attributed to voters claiming to support the candidate to appear accepting or out of fear of being perceived as racist.

Origin- In 1982, popular long time LA mayor Tom Bradley ran for California governor on the Democratic ticket. Polls prior to election night had him leading by 12 points, yet he lost by one percent.

Before the election, opposing campaign manager Bill Roberts predicted Bradley's numbers were inflated because voters gave inaccurate responses out of fear of appearing racist to pollsters. He was forced to resign over his comments.

Other examples
- The effect was seen throughout the 1980s

Douglas Wilder had a double digit lead in polls for the Virginia Senate race only to win by a point. The same was true for David Dinkins when he defeated Rudy Giuliani in 1989 for NYC mayor.

In fact, many pollsters maintain that the only time there is a double digit swing between polls and results is when a minority candidate is involved, and the Bradley effect is its explanation.

Which brings us to New Hampshire.

Every poll (save one) had Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton by 8- 12 points heading into the election, yet he lost by three. That night, I thought about the Bradley effect, but dismissed it because there was no evidence of it in Iowa. And if there is any place whiter than New Hampshire, it's Iowa.

But then I remembered that Iowa does not have a primary, but a caucus. In a caucus, voters gather in a large room and publicize whom they support by gathering in groups. So, a caucus is really nothing more than a poll on a larger scale. Instead of having to impress a pollster, voters are faced with family, friends and neighbors.

The Bradley effect may have been in full force that night, but to Obama's benefit.

When voters stepped into the privacy of the voting booth, things changed. To me, this is as good an explanation as any as to why New Hampshire polls (even ones taken after Hillary's "breakdown") were so off.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire Winners & Losers

Well, the nation's first primary is behind us and Sen. Hillary Clinton emerged triumphant. She scored a 3-point victory over Sen. Barack Obama, even though most polls coming into the day had her trailing by 8-12 points. Her campaign appears to have hit its stride (as Hillary told the New Hampshire crowd: "I found my own voice").

So let's take a look at what caused the dramatic turnaround:

Exit polls made clear that Hillary's 12 point advantage among women (a constituency that Obama carried in Iowa) was the difference in New Hampshire. A variety of factors brought women into the Hillary camp:

Her answer to the likability question in Saturday night's debate: "Well, that hurts my feelings..."
Her voice quiver (authentic or not) when talking about the personal nature of the issues for which she fought
The "Iron my shirt" guy at a New Hampshire rally
And the intense media coverage that crowned Barack Obama and spread dirt over Hillary's campaign casket. It made voters, especially female voters, sympathize with Hillary, and they realized they weren't ready for her to go away just yet.

On the other side, John McCain (who I believe is just finishing up a 6- hour victory speech) completed an astonishing comeback to claim New Hampshire.

Rudy Giuliani was another NH winner: Mitt Romney will not drop out after his disappointing early showings, and will contend with John McCain in Michigan. So, despite claiming only 9% where he spent significant time, Rudy could be the big winner here. The Republican race is wide open and will be more so if Romney wins Michigan, which plays right into Giuliani's long term, big state strategy.

The losers were fairly obvious. Romney's strategy was all about winning Iowa and New Hampshire. But he's still not out of it, even though he lost both because this thing is so wide open. McCain didn't get a total win because he only won by 5 points, largely on his support among independents, so he still has to prove he can win in a closed primary state.

The biggest loser is certainly John Edwards. He angered the Clintons with his attempted alliance with Obama and his strong words against Hillary. Tonight, the Clinton campaign noted that it is now a two- person race. And it appears they are right. Edwards hoped Clinton would implode leaving him as the Obama alternative. Now, with his weak 17%, there does not appear to be room for him in this race.

Meanwhile, cable-news pundits got a big win, because even though they look a little silly with all their Generation- Obama comments and stories, they have a fresh week of material ahead.

It's going to be intense.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Frankenstein Villagers for Ron Paul

Fox News excluded Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul (TX) from its New Hampshire debate. In response, his supporters chased talk show host Sean Hannity around New Hampshire.

No, they didn't have pitchforks or torches, but it seemed like they were chasing Frankenstein's monster. And they also managed to do the impossible: They made me feel kind of sorry for Sean Hannity.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Read: Goodbye to All That


A few weeks ago, I wrote an endorsement of Barack Obama. Many of the points I made in that post were also made by Andrew Sullivan in an article for the Atlantic Monthly, which was written about 10,000 times better.

So, it's worth the long read, even though it's pretty embarrassing when read immediately preceding or proceeding my post.

Land of Milk & Honey & Potatoes

A few years back, a group called Christian Exodus hatched a genius plan: Move thousands of their followers to Anderson, South Carolina to infiltrate local and state politics to get their "traditional Christian" agenda passed. That agenda would presumably include positions on intelligent design theory in the classroom, and eventually anti- gay marriage and pro- life laws passed in the community and ultimately the state.

Well something funny happened on the way to Eden.

Despite the "similar" values of the South Carolina town and tons of attention from the national media, only 24 families signed up to take back Anderson for Christ. So, Christian Exodus has decided to "expand" their efforts to Gem County, Idaho. It's all detailed here.

So, my point is that I'll be moving to Idaho in a few weeks. Anyone interested in joining me, please email me at chris@potatofarmers4jesus.org.

When Republicans Dropped the Ball

A couple of nights ago, during the Republican debate, there was a fiery exchange over immigration. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain went head-to-head against Mitt Romney, defending their position as fair and non-amnesty. The two did a good job of bringing Ronald Reagan into their fold, who offered flat out amnesty in 1986, and making the case that the penalties that go along with their plan means it is not amnesty.

Yet, as Joe Klein pointed out in audio here, Romney did well because neither Giuliani nor McCain ever hammered him with the obvious question: How are you going to get 12,000,000 illegals out of the US?

Rudy said to ship out those who have committed crimes, a much more manageable figure. But Romney decried that idea as amnesty. Yet he never said how he would get all illegal immigrants out of the US. And because McCain and Giuliani dropped the ball, he didn't have to.

Quote of the Day 1/7

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Iowa's Winners and Losers

Last night Iowa caucus-goers made Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama big winners. So who else won last night? And who lost? Let's do a quick recap...

3 Big Winners-

John McCain: Huckabee's rise has come at the expense of Mitt Romney, who concentrated so much time, money and energy on the two early contests. Now that Romney is wounded, and McCain can pounce in his old New Hampshire strong-hold.

Democrats: Democratic caucus goers outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1. Also, 54% of Democratic caucus goers were first timers. That's unbelievable. Barack Obama dominated with young voters, and (gasp!) actually turned them out to vote. It's the unattainable goal of so many Democrats, and Obama may have finally found realized their potential.

Rudy Giuliani
: The best case scenario for Rudy is a chaotic first few states before he jumps in in Florida. That means Huckabee in Iowa (check) McCain in New Hampshire and Romney in Michigan (where his father was governor). That way no one really has the momentum before he starts for real.

3 Big Losers-

Mitt Romney: See above, and know- if he doesn't win New Hampshire (his political backyard) he's finished. It's the same principle that doomed Howard Dean in 2004.

Hillary Clinton: What do you think Hill regrets the most? Running in Iowa in the first place; her answer to that illegal immigrant driver's license question in the Halloween debate; or moving to a new state to run for Senate, instead of waiting four years and running in her native Illinois and keeping Barack Obama in the state senate?

Fred Thompson: His relatively strong third place finish means he'll have to stick around through New Hampshire, and campaign another week instead of grabbing a cigar, a glass of scotch and the TV remote.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Latest Iowa Poll & What 2 Watch 4

Tonight is the night: the Iowa Caucuses begin shortly. Reuters/ CSPAN/ Zogby have a new poll out, with the latest numbers before they start rolling in tonight.

Obama- 31
Edwards- 27
Clinton- 24

Huckabee- 31
Romney- 25
Thompson- 11

3 Things to Watch For:

John McCain
cracks the top 3, and grabs 15%- He spent no money and very little time in Iowa, if that happens he may really be "back."

Edwards beats Clinton- even if he loses to Obama, a strong #2 finish will mean his campaign can continue.

Thompson scores in single digits- he'll probably drop out and endorse his friend McCain.

Obama's Curious Co-Chair

As NBC reports Barack Obama has tabbed former South Carolina governor Jim Hodges as a national co-chair for his campaign. Why is this odd?

Well, Obama hammered rivals (especially John Edwards) for ties to lobbyists and special interests, and maintained that no lobbyists will work in his administration or "set the agenda in Washington."

Earlier, in response to Obama's harping on what was really a tangential tie to a lobbyist, Edwards vowed not to allow any lobbyists in his White House. The Obama camp responded:

Early in this campaign, Barack Obama introduced the furthest-reaching lobbying reform proposal of any candidate in this race, and we appreciate that John Edwards is now following his lead. The truth is, in his six years as a U.S. Senator, John Edwards did not propose or accomplish a single thing to reduce the power of lobbyists while Barack Obama passed the most sweeping lobbying reform since Watergate.
So what's the big deal about Jim Hodges?

Well in addition to being a former governor, Hodges is a federal lobbyist. He founded Hodges Consulting Group, a subsidiary of Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, L.L.P, a law firm that represents clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Hodges Consulting calls itself “well positioned to offer highly effective lobbying services and unparalleled state budget expertise. Hodges Consulting Group can also provide federal representation to clients."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

On the Eve of Iowa, Remember...

What was going on four years ago? Howard Dean's campaign officially floundered after a third place Iowa finish, and officially died after the "Dean Scream" (below).



Back then, John Kerry came from nowhere to win the Democratic nomination on the strength of his electability. Will there be another of these moments tomorrow night?

We can only hope...